Critical Hit Pathfinder Real Play Podcast

In this installment of Critical Hit – A Major Spoilers Podcast: The final battle heats up, and someone dies!

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Wow! Great work!!

    I’ve been listening for years, and listened to the whole series multiple times delightedly. There have been some stellar highpoints along the way, but this storyline has got be one of the best. From her first session, as a Kenku hiding in a flyman-mask, Sam has always struck me as having a balance of “crunch-knowledge” and dramatic enthusiasm. What more could you ask for in a GM? I didn’t think there could be a Game Master as entertaining as Rodrigo, and with her own style, Sam is clearly as good as anyone out there! Added bonus: Her GMing allows Rodrigo to play a PC, which is hard to beat.

    Critical Hit was a crucial resource to me as I’ve gotten into tabletop RPGs in the past few years. At first I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew. After getting very comfortable with 4e, 5e and now PF I just wanted to thank you all for sharing your love for the genre with all us grateful listeners.

    What I’ve learned from the podcast has allowed me to play in and runs games of my own in multiple systems. Of late, I’ve even taken the leap into Starfinder and I must say, the system, flavor and mechanics fit me like a glove! It has some known bugs, but I’m a patient man, and I’m absolutely on board for the long haul with it. I’m sure the crew has at least some familiarity with it, so I thought I’d see what you all had to say.

    Keep it up!

  2. Dawn, nooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    So many unanswered questions. Will Chema be the new sheriff of Redemption? Will Russell and Molly become Mussell ? Can Alder get over his loss?
    Stay tuned.
    I would love another adventure against the brigands and their evil boss.

  3. Thanks for the game, it was a lot of fun to listen to! I’m looking forward to hearing the ‘wrap up’ next week. I really liked the story, Sam’s GMing, and the role playing. All stuff I’ve come to enjoy with Critical Hit over the years.

    That being said… mini-rant coming:

    One thing that I hope is covered in that is ‘What went wrong with the Hanging Judge?’ Brian’s character did pretty much nothing the entire campaign. It was really disappointing, especially considering that we got an early peek at the character before the actual game began with the character creation overview.

    I can’t recall a single time that he was able to use his signature lasso/noose effectively. Sure, chalk some of that to die rolls, but how many times did he even try? I give Brian some credit for trying with the noose in this last combat, but I think it’s pretty telling that Sam was really encouraging him to just shoot Miller with his pistol instead. Even Rodrigo could feel it too, and was trying to make the Hanging Judge relevant by passing him the extra silver bullets when the combat probably would have ended one or two rounds sooner if he’d kept them. And of course, Miller’s CMD was so high that it seemed like Brian needed to be pretty lucky to hit him with the lasso at all.

    One aspect that stood out to me with respect to the Hanging Judge’s ineffectiveness seemed to be the way the campaign was designed. Please understand that I’m not trying to take a crack at Sam as a GM. I think she did a great job with the story overall and I really think she’s fantastic.

    But it seemed like there was just encounter after encounter where the Hanging Judge just had no way to be successful. I remember the one time Brian did manage a great roll for his noose, and the target was a non-corporeal ghost so it didn’t matter. Another time where Brian felt like his best move was to move into a flanking position and attack with a 1d3 punch. Really? That’s the best the Hanging Judge can muster? He ended up pretty much being a damage sponge and flanking buddy for the entire campaign.

    It felt to me like the campaign was designed in a way that really didn’t give the Hanging Judge an opportunity to shine, which was disappointing to me as a listener. I can only imagine how it must have felt for Brian!

    Anyway, like I said I still really enjoyed listening to the game and I’m looking forward to whatever’s coming next.

    Thanks again!

      • Great, thanks Sam! Again, despite the length of the above post, I’m really not trying to go nerd-rage on you here. This one aspect aside, I really enjoyed the campaign and thing you did a fantastic job.

        I’m glad we’ll get to hear about it in the post mortem and I think it could be very instructive for new/prospective DMs out there. Sometimes you can learn more when something goes wrong than when everything goes right. So I’ll look forward to that next episode!

        Thanks again!

  4. Started Critical Hit podcast when it first came out on iTunes and have enjoyed a lot of it until Sam’s Weird Western came out and a strange thing happened. Weird Western, at least for me, has eclipsed the original story to become my new favorite. I haven’t even finished Orem’s adventures but absolutely love Sam’s storytelling in her Pathfinder narrative. Keep up the great work please and I am sooo hoping you have more in store !

  5. Future person here. I immensely enjoyed this Pathfinder Weird Western. I’d happily revisit Redemption and see how things shook out. I thought Sam did a fantastic job as DM, and people fell into their characters quickly in a way that really helped this “shorter” campaign hit the ground running.

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